BPL to start in Chittagong
In a historic first for the country's professional football league, the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) will get underway outside the capital as the professional football league committee yesterday decided to start the 9th iteration of the league in Chittagong from July 24.
With an aim of bringing professionalism among the clubs as per the Asian Football Confederation's prescription, the game's governing body had introduced the home-and-away based football league in 2007 and since then the league has been traveling to seven different districts -- Khulna, Chittagong, Feni, Sylhet, Narayanganj, Tangail and Gopalganj so far. This time however, there will be no home venues; rather each of participating 12 teams will be traveling to all six venues more than twice to play their respective 22 league matches.
“The meeting wanted the Bangladesh Premier League to start with the good turnover of spectators and that's why it [the committee] decided to start the league in Chittagong instead of Dhaka,” said BFF general secretary Abu Nayeem Shohag.
After the completion of six matches in Chittagong, the league matches will be taking place in Sylhet, Dhaka, Rajshahi, Barisal and Mymensingh/Gopalganj respectively. Each of the participating teams will be given Tk 30 lakh for their participation, transport, accommodation and refreshments, although club representatives demanded more from the game's governing body at the meeting.
Of 132 matches of the league, only 24 matches will be held in Dhaka, which hosted nearly all of league matches for the past two seasons.